Tag Archives: Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan: Lawyer disbarred for disclosing his client’s torture allegations in prison seeks justice from the European Court of Human Rights

July 18, 2019

Yalchin Imanov is the latest of at least two dozen human rights lawyers to have been disbarred, had their licences suspended, been criminally prosecuted or otherwise pressured by the authorities in Azerbaijan.

On 8 August 2017 Yalchin visited his client, Abbas Huseynov, in the high security Gobustan prison and saw bruises all over his body. Mr Huseynov told him that he had been severely tortured by prison officials, including being beaten with batons, dragged on the floor, tied to a metal pole in the yard and held in a solitary confinement with his hands and legs cuffed, over several days. Upon leaving the prison, he was contacted by several media outlets for information about the worrying situation of his client and he described to the media the treatment his client had been subjected to and the bruises he had seen on him.

The next day, Yalchin requested both the Prison Service and the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate Mr Huseynov’s torture allegations but no investigation has been conducted to date. In response to his complaint the Prison Service requested the Azerbaijan Bar Association (ABA) to take disciplinary measures against Yalchin for allegedly aiming `to cast shadow over the work and reputation of the state structures` and `to cause disorder` and `tension among some groups of the society`. His licence was suspended by the ABA on 20 November 2017, pending decision of the domestic court on his disbarment.

Yalchin was indefinitely disbarred by the Ganja Administrative Economic Court on 22 February 2019 on the basis of the request from the ABA who claimed that he had damaged `the honour, dignity and business reputation` of the Prison Service by providing information to the media about the torture allegations of his client, convicted in the Nardaran case.

Lawyer disbarred for disclosing his client’s torture allegations in prison seeks justice from the European Court of Human Rights

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/yalchin-imanov-suspended-practising-pending-trial

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2019/2/free/Social/en/79059.htm

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2019/6/free/Social/en/81410.htm

https://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/44798/

https://rm.coe.int/statistics-for-eng/168078f2f8

Azerbaijan: Azerbaijani Bar starts disciplinary investigation against lawyer Elchin Sadigov

July 10, 2019

To the attention of all international organizations and human rights community!
This morning at around 15:30 I was summoned to the ABA by a call, being told that I should go there. Since there was not any pending administrative proceedings launched against me, I asked about the reasons, however was remained unanswered. I was at the ABA just in time. I was acted in an aggressive manner. Turned out that, there was a complaint filed against me. It was written by spouse of deceased Sardar Gasimov, who was a former member of Disciplinary Commission, namely Gasimova Kamala Elkhan gizi on June 28, 2019.

The last sentence of the complaint is as follows which hasn’t, most likely, been written by any other than a counselor: “…Therefore I ask you to take required measures in relation to counselor Elchin Sadigov, incriminating him within the law…”
Even though I told them that my facebook profile has not registered for my professional activities, but a personal one, moreover I’ve not use any humiliating expressions directed towards Sardar Gasimov, but shared my own opinions relying on my right to freedom of expression as a lawyer and a citizen, and only the domestic court is entitled to examine the defamation case, the decision on commencing administrative proceedings was issued.
Probably they think that I’ve criticized current situation on legal practice in our country while meeting with Donald Dusk, President of the EC and CoE Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic. As well as it also proved that all the threats directed to me with respect to journalist Polad Aslanov, are real and have factual basis.

For your kind attention, my facebook status of June 28, 2019 stated only as follows:
“Just a few moments ago I put a comment in our group of bar members, however it was deleted. Then let me express my opinions as a citizen.
Sardar Gasimov was the member of ABA who investigated my case with respect to disciplinary proceedings launched against me upon the prosecuting authorities’ unabashed complaint referred to the ABA. I did not know him before the launched disciplinary proceedings against me (to my surprise he was well-known), .
At every our meeting he said “I know you were eavesdropped on”, and what is worse even though he confessed that lawyers should not be sanctioned for their activities, he also complained that since he was no one the hell there, he was obliged to suit the action to the word. In the end he presented a negative opinion on me without any justification, expressing that as if I had violated the legal ethics.
Azerbaijani people know inside out their wise, persistent, demanding counselors who raise the reputation of legal practice in Azerbaijan.
There are still the ones who write modern times’ history, most probably at least. Then ask them also to add that Sardar Gasimov was one of them who expressed negative opinions on me, moreover to suffix the sentence of “Oh world why you’re not going upside down?”
I asked my followers not to use any humiliating language when commenting”.

(Elchin Sadigov Facebook, 10/07/19)

http://www.turan.az/ext/news/2019/7/free/Social/en/82122.htm

The lawyer announced about pressure on him because he protects the journalist

The lawyer was not allowed to meet with Afghan Mukhtarli

Azerbaijan: lawyer Sadigov should be applauded, not sanctioned, for acting professionally

https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/azerbaijan-needs-more-freedom-of-speech-more-lawyers-and-more-jobs-for-refugees

Council of Europe: Azerbaijan needs more freedom of speech, more lawyers

https://gozetci.az/v%C9%99kil-elcin-sadigov-muv%C9%99kkilin%C9%99-gor%C9%99-h%C9%99d%C9%99l%C9%99nib/ (AZERBAIJANI)

Azerbaijan: ICJ publishes recommendations on the role and independence of lawyers in Azerbaijan

May 8, 2019

The recommendations published today follow the Conference on the Independence of the Legal profession held by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the Council of Europe (CoE) Office in Baku and the Azerbaijan Bar Association (ABA) in Baku, on 15-16 November 2018.

The Conference created much-needed space for a dialogue on the issue of independence of lawyers in Azerbaijan with both national and international stakeholders, as lawyers from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan shared their experiences and good practices in addressing challenges to the independence of lawyers. Drawing on the discussions at the Conference, and taking into account key findings of the ICJ report of 2016 “Defenceless Defenders: Systemic Problems in the Legal Profession of Azerbaijan” as well as more recent legislative and administrative developments, the ICJ makes recommendations aimed at strengthening the role and independence of lawyers and improving access to justice in Azerbaijan. The recommendations are informed by international law and standards on the role of lawyers and cover four main aspects: adequacy of the number of lawyers to ensure access to justice; the examination procedure for qualification as a lawyer; professional ethics of lawyers and disciplinary proceedings against lawyers.

ICJ publishes recommendations on the role and independence of lawyers in Azerbaijan

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2019/4/free/Social/en/80441.htm

https://www.voanews.com/a/azerbaijan-journalist-freed-from-prison-but-not-free-to-travel-/4903975.html

Azerbaijan/Council of Europe/ICJ: Baku to host international conference on “Role and Independence of lawyers: Comparative Perspectives”

November 13, 2018

An international conference on the topic of “The role and independence of lawyers: comparative perspectives” organized by the Azerbaijani Bar Association, the Council of Europe and the International Commission of Jurists will be held on November 15-16.

Report informs citing the Association that heads of the foreign ministries of 15 foreign countries, senior officials of international organizations, as well as heads of the supreme governing bodies of Azerbaijan will take part in the event.

https://report.az/en/domestic-politics/baku-to-host-international-conference-on-role-and-independence-of-lawyers-comparative-perspectives/

https://www.coe.int/fr/web/human-rights-rule-of-law/-/conference-on-the-role-and-independence-of-lawyers-comparative-perspectives-

http://www.gocatalog.az/info/Detailed_News.aspx?id=52656&lng=en

https://www.azerbaycan24.com/en/baku-to-host-international-conference-on-role-and-independence-of-lawyers-comparative-perspectives/

Image may contain: one or more people and text

Follow LIVE tomorrow as from 9.15am (#Baku: GMT +4) the international conference on “The role and#independence of #lawyers: comparative prospectives” starting tomorrow morning. It is organised by the Council of Europe jointly with the International Commission of Jurists and the Bar Association of Azerbaijan. International experts and prominent lawyers representing the leadership of national bar associations from a wide range of countries will be present as well as Mr Christophe Poirel, Director of Human Rights, Council of Europe and Mr Azer Jafarov, Deputy Minister of Justice of Azerbaijan and others. #StayTuned, follow and share: https://bit.ly/2DlQbHV

(Council of Europe – Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law Facebook, 14/11/18)

UK/Colombia/Egypt/China/Honduras etc: Occupational hazards

October 22, 2018

Turkey arrest

Lawyers all over the world risk losing their liberty – and worse – when they seek to uphold fundamental human rights. Jonathan Rayner reports

 

THE LOW DOWN
Across the world in places once deemed ‘safe’, the rule of law is under pressure to give way to populism and authoritarianism – meaning lawyers’ clients and their own support for justice are putting them personally at risk. In Colombia, 120 lawyers were murdered in 2017. President Erdogan’s crackdown in Turkey has seen 22 advocates put on trial for ‘terrorism’, and the list of countries where similar incidences are occurring is long – including China, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Venezuela, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and Kenya. Yet international solidarity between lawyers is strong, and many are organising to protect and support persecuted colleagues in a battle for justice that can feel like it must be fought street-by-street.

 

English lawyers, and this is perhaps to over-dramatise matters, have been at imminent risk of violent death since 1591. That was the year that Shakespeare wrote Henry VI part two and placed the words, ‘The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers’, into the mouth of a rebellious Dick the Butcher. Some 427 years later, the Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2018 was marked by lawyers in 35 European and other cities worldwide. They were showing solidarity with their persecuted Egyptian counterparts, the same way that in the previous two years they had demonstrated their support for imperilled lawyers in China and Honduras.

Egypt, China, Honduras – three nations on three different continents. The threat to lawyers, although small in the UK, is global. Dick the Butcher’s rantings have been supplanted by something altogether more sinister: extra-judicial executions, state-sanctioned wrongful imprisonment and harassment, electronic surveillance and an autocratic disregard for the rule of law. Sir Patrick Elias, president of the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk and a retired Appeal Court judge, says the problem is widespread: ‘It flourishes wherever there are dictatorships.’

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/features/occupational-hazards/5067998.article?fbclid=IwAR3Xzxsrzp_0Hvxfx1KKtHcYLywlN9bgLaNQk3zf-hhJURnuvojCS7RwuDQ

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

The Systematic Repression of Lawyers in Central Asia and Eastern Europe

September 12, 2018

Image result for Freedom House

OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2018
Warsaw, Poland
September 12, 2018
Working Session 4

The Systematic Repression of Lawyers in Central Asia and Eastern Europe

Freedom House is gravely concerned by an apparent systematic crackdown on the legal profession by a number of OSCE participating States. Since 2017, restrictive legislative changes and punitive measures targeting individual lawyers were especially egregious in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Crimea. The intense persecution of the legal profession undermines individuals’ essential right of equal access to justice, especially those who openly call for government accountability, such as human rights defenders, journalists, social and political activists. Often, legal action is the only available recourse for individuals and associations to seek redress for violations of their fundamental rights and freedoms.

Due to governments’ threats both to lawyers and their would-be clients, the number of lawyers able to take on human rights cases is dwindling. Without a strong, independent judiciary and lawyers free from harassment, however, governments cannot claim to be fulling their obligations to protect the fundamental human rights of their citizens. Attacking the legal profession appears to be the final step in dismantling a system in which citizens can find recourse against unjust treatment by their own governments within the existing legal framework.

In Azerbaijan, the national parliament amended the ‘Code of Civil and Administrative Procedure’ and the ‘Bar Act’ in October 2017 to state that only members of the Azerbaijan Collegium of Advocates can represent clients in court, substantially cutting the proportion of lawyers to the population to one of the lowest rates in the region.[1]Furthermore, authorities summarily disbar prominent human rights lawyers and deny accreditation to junior advocates. Lawyers including Khalid Baghirov, Aslan Ismayilov, Alaif Hasanov, Elchin Namazov, Yalchin Imanov, Farhad Mehdiyev, Muzaffar Bakhshaliyev, Annaghi Hajibeyli, Aliabbas Rustomov, and Intigam Aliyev have all had their bar membership suspended or revoked shortly after raising human rights concerns on behalf of clients or criticizing the government.[2] Junior lawyers are unable to join the Collegium of Advocates due to its bias against lawyers connected to human rights cases. Samed Rahimli, known for taking on political contentious cases, describes his interviewers from the Collegium of Advocates as being openly hostile towards him and accusing him of trying to destroy the collegium. This systematic persecution of human rights lawyers has left the country with only six practicing human rights lawyers, according to Intigam Aliyev, a human rights lawyer previously jailed for his work.[3]

https://freedomhouse.org/article/systematic-repression-lawyers-central-asia-and-eastern-europe

https://freedomhouse.org/

https://www.ibanet.org/Human_Rights_Institute/Work_by_regions/Europe/Tajikistan-film.aspx

https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng/Areas/Azerbaijan/Azerbaijan-journalists-and-human-rights-activists-left-defenceless-190307

https://www.rferl.org/a/brother-of-former-ablyazov-lawyer-jailed-on-graft-charges-in-kazakhstan/29559028.html

Azerbaijan: ICJ intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights in a case concerning restrictions of lawyer’s rights

September 26, 2018

International Commission of Jurists

Today, the ICJ has presented a third party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights in Alayif Hasan oglu Hasanov v. Azerbaijan case.

In its submissions, the ICJ stresses that, while lawyers must perform their professional functions in conformity with ethical standards, the systems and procedures in respect of conditions of service, including in respect of admission to the profession and discipline, must not enforce such obligations in a way that impairs the exercise of human rights by lawyers or their capacity to effectively represent their clients.

The ICJ presented the submissions based on the jurisprudence of this Court as well as international standards governing the legal profession.

In particular, the submission addressed permissible restrictions of lawyers’ rights to respect for private (including professional) life under article 8 ECHR and to freedom of expression under article 10 ECHR, as well as the procedural safeguards required to apply such restrictions under article 6 ECHR.

https://www.icj.org/azerbaijan-icj-intervenes-before-the-european-court-of-human-rights-in-a-case-concerning-restrictions-of-lawyers-rights/

https://www.echr.coe.int/Pages/home.aspx?p=home

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/oral-statement-on-upr-outcome-2/

https://www.coe.int/en/web/commissioner/view/-/asset_publisher/ugj3i6qSEkhZ/content/commissioner-mijatovic-intervenes-before-the-european-court-of-human-rights-in-the-case-of-emin-huseynov-v-azerbaijan